LEROY, NY -- The doctor who visited with some of the teens from LeRoy experiencing tics and Tourette's-like symptoms issued a statement Monday.
Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a child neurologist from New Jersey, met with some of the girls, after parents sought a second opinion following an initial disgnosis of conversion disorder.
Below is text of a statement Dr. Trifiletti sent to 2 On Your Side:
"I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and examining nine of the children, involved in the Leroy High School cluster on Sunday, January 29th.
All children were accompanied by their parents. The children I examined were girls and ranged in age from 13 to 20 years of age. The only other common feature between all of the cases besides gender is the lightning-like onset of symptoms. The symptoms and signs are best described, as others have pointed out, as a "Tourette-like illness", although the duration of symptoms are not yet sufficient to make a formal diagnosis of "Tourette Syndrome".
There are potential medical causes that have not yet been fully excluded, including PANS (Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome; formerly called PANDAS), which may be associated with a variety of infectious triggers. PANS is a relatively common illness, and there are thousands of cases diagnosed across this country, but none with showing this marked clustering. I evaluated the children for PANS using consensus criteria developed at a July 2010 Conference at the National Institute of Mental Health along with testing for potential infectious triggers of PANS. PANS is important to exclude as it is a potentially medically treatable condition.
The "mass conversion disorder" diagnosis given by the Dent Institute is a diagnosis of exclusion, and as such, can never be "ruled out" . It would be a reasonable working diagnosis only if no better medical explanations can be found. I think Dr. McVige and her colleagues at Dent have done an excellent job in attempting to evaluate these patients to the best of their abilities, and their conclusions are reasonable. There is simply an honest difference in opinion between physicians here, which happens all the time in medicine. I believe that all of the physicians involved here truly want all these children to be well again and will ultimately work together to achieve that aim.
The results of my tests will take 1-2 weeks to return. I will again brief the media after results return and are reviewed with the patients as to my conclusions, but will have no further comment before that time.
I have no comment on the potential role of any environmental neurotoxins and did no testing relative to that possibility.
Dr. Rosario Trifiletti MD PhD